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election 2012:

Romney picks Ryan for running mate

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., chairman of the House Budget Committee, right, addresses an audience as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney looks on during a Romney campaign event in Milwaukee, April 2, 2012.

Updated Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012 | 9:38 a.m.

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Mitt Romney introduced Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his Republican vice presidential running mate on Saturday, turning to the architect of a deeply conservative and intensely controversial long-term budget plan that would remake Medicare and cut trillions in federal spending.

In the campaign to come, Republicans will present economic solutions "that are bold, specific and achievable," Romney said as he presented his political partner. "We offer our commitment to help create 12 million new jobs and to bring better take-home pay to middle class families."

The two men basked in the cheers of supporters in their made-for-television debut on a ticket hoping to make President Barack Obama's first term his last. "I did not make a mistake with this guy," Romney exulted.

"I am deeply excited and honored to join you as your running mate," Ryan said in his first words at the podium." He said that together, Republicans would eliminate the country's "debt, doubt and despair."

He said that "Regrettably, President Obama has become part of the problem, and Mitt Romney is the solution" to an economy that has yet to make a strong recovery from the worst recession in decades.

Ryan joins the ticket in a race defined from the beginning by a weak economy and high unemployment, measured most recently at 8.3 percent in July. Even so, recent national polls as well as surveys in several battleground states indicate a narrow advantage for Obama.

The GOP ticket made its debut at a naval museum in Norfolk, Va., the initial stop of a bus tour through four battleground states in as many days. It seemed likely a stop in Ryan's home state would be added to previously scheduled appearances in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio.

The USS Wisconsin, berthed at the museum, was the bunting-draped backdrop, a symbol of the nation's military strength as well as an obvious reference to Ryan's home state.

First Romney, then Ryan, a generation younger than his patron, jogged down the ship's gangplank to the cheers of hundreds and the stirring soundtrack from the movie "Air Force One."

As his family came on stage, Ryan knelt to embrace his daughter, Liza, 10, and sons Charles, 8, and Sam 7, before kissing his wife, Janna.

While word of Ryan's selection leaked late Friday night and was posted by the campaign to its phone app before the speeches, Obama's campaign withheld its reaction until the Republicans had spoken.

"The architect of the radical Republican House budget, Ryan, like Romney, proposed an additional $250,000 tax cut for millionaires and deep cuts in education, from Head Start to college aid," Jim Messina, the president's campaign manager, said in a written statement.

"His plan would also end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher system, shifting thousands of dollars in health care costs to seniors," he said.

Ryan's selection — as well as Romney's own nomination — will be ratified by delegates to the Republican National Convention that begins on Aug. 27 in Tampa, Fla.

Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will be nominated for a second term at the Democratic convention the following week.

One campaign official said Romney settled on Ryan on Aug. 1, more than a week ago, and informed Beth Myers, the longtime aide who had shepherded the secretive process that led to the selection. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, not authorized to be named in providing details.

Romney and Ryan had an unannounced meeting last Sunday, and the congressman accepted the offer, campaign officials said.

In making his pick, Romney bypassed other potential running mates, including Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Officials said he had called all five to notify them of his decision.

There was one unscripted moment, when Romney mistakenly introduced Ryan as the next president. He returned to the podium to say, "Every now and then I'm known to make a mistake. I didn't make a mistake with this guy. But I can tell you this, he is going to be the next vice president of the United States."

At 42, Ryan is a more than two decades younger than the 65-year-old Romney.

His conservative credentials are highly regarded by fellow Republican House members, while numerous polls during the primaries of winter and spring found Romney's conservatism was suspect among the party's core supporters.

A seven-term congressman, Ryan is chairman of the House Budget Committee, and primary author of conservative tax and spending blueprints that the tea party-infused Republican majority approved over vigorous Democratic opposition in 2011 and again in 2012.

They envision transforming Medicare into a program in which future seniors would receive government checks that they could use to purchase health insurance. Under the current program, the government directly pays doctors, hospitals and other health care providers.

Ryan and other supporters say the change is needed to prevent the program from financial calamity. Critics argue it would impose ever-increasing costs on seniors.

Other elements of the budget plan would cut projected spending for Medicaid, which provides health care for the poor, as well as food stamps, student loans and other social programs that Obama and Democrats have pledged to defend.

In all, it projects spending cuts of $5.3 trillion over a decade, and would cut future projected deficits substantially.

It also envisions a far-reaching overhaul of the tax code, of the sort Romney has promised.

Romney and Ryan appeared comfortable with each other when they campaigned together earlier in the year. The former governor eagerly shared the microphone with the younger man and they shared hamburgers at a fast food restaurant.

In making an endorsement before his state's primary last spring, Ryan said, "I picked who I think is going to be the next president of the United States — I picked Mitt Romney. ... The moment is here. The country can be saved. It is not too late to get America back on the right track. ... It is not too late to save the American idea."

Romney was the subject of an April Fools prank in which Ryan played a role. Romney showed up at a supposed campaign event where he heard Ryan calling him "the next president of the United States" — only to find the room nearly empty.

In recent days, conservative pundits have been urging Romney to choose Ryan in large part because of his authorship of the House-backed budget plan.

Republican National Committee finance chairman Ron Weiser of Michigan, said Friday night that Ryan's selection would help Romney win Wisconsin and its 10 electoral votes in the fall. The state typically supports Democrats in presidential contests and Obama won it handily four years ago.

Ryan has worked in Washington for much of his adult life, a contrast to Romney, who frequently emphasizes his experience in business.

The congressman worked as an aide in Congress, and also was a speechwriter for the late Rep. Jack Kemp, who years earlier had been one of the driving forces behind across-the-board tax cuts that were at the heart of Ronald Reagan's winning presidential campaign in 1980.

Ryan is also well-known for his fiendish physical fitness workouts.

His congressional district in southeast Wisconsin has something of a bipartisan voting record. Obama took 54 percent of the vote there in 2008, while the congressman received 64 percent in winning re-election.

Outside Ryan's home in Janesville, Wis., on Friday night, there was nothing to suggest that the residence belonged to a vice presidential candidate. An Associated Press reporter who knocked just before midnight got no answer. There was a light on in a first-floor room of the two-story brick home atop a hill.

Earlier this week, a Ryan adviser said the congressman, his wife and their three children were preparing for a weeklong Colorado vacation.

Most of Romney's staff learned of the planned announcement during a 10 p.m. EDT conference call Friday about an hour before the campaign issued a statement. The identity of Romney's pick was not disclosed during the call. The campaign had promised that first news of the selection would be delivered via a phone app.

Earlier in the day, Romney's campaign briefed reporters on the bus tour without mention of the impending vice presidential announcement.

The bus tour will take Romney through Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio. All are battlegrounds where Obama won in 2008. The states hold a combined 75 electoral votes, of the 270 needed to win election.

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  1. Paul Ryan, who voted over and over and over for TARP, unfunded wars, stimulus, the auto bailouts, and a trillion-dollar unfunded Medicare mandate is the GOP poster boy for fiscal responsibility?

    What a joke!

    If Ryan's the pick, it shows Romney's in deep, deep trouble. Paul Ryan is not a pick to rein in independents. Romney's sacrificing an appeal to moderates in order to appease the tea party. It would show Romney still has to try to galvanize his own base!

    Now Romney has to own and sell Paul Ryan's coupon program that would replace Medicare. Good luck!

  2. Romney is a believer. He plots his course on information derived from higher sources which have no rational foundation or connection.

  3. Just PERFECT...

    Thurston Howell has found his Henchman!

    "Paul, tell the peeps how we'll CHOP, CHOP, CHOP our way to prosperity! Tell America just WHO WE'll SACRIFICE so that RICH JOB CREATORS can continue to get their 'tax relief'! TESTIFY, MY MAN! That's right, my Middle-Class & POOR American Friends; Y. O. U.!!!"

    Rmoney/Ryan 2012
    It's ALL ABOUT the MONEY...OUR MONEY!

    This message brought to you by American Crossroads GPS....
    NOT affiliated with the Howell-Rmoney campaign; WINK-WINK!!!

  4. Ryan has a plan to balance the budget in 28 years. That is not a serious plan, but it's what passes for fiscal conservatism in the Republican Party.

  5. Kevin, you left out that he voted in favor of the war with Iraq. I was wrong about the 28 years, it's actually 2035, 23 years from now. That's not a realistic plan, but it's good enough for the Tea Party.

  6. I already knew I wouldn't vote for Romney, but hadn't decided who I would vote for yet. I was leaning Green.

    Obama-Biden have my vote now.

    Thanks, Mr. Romney, for helping me to decide who I will vote for!

  7. Enjoyed the article.

    And thanks for the first morning laugh, JeffFromVegas.

    I am simply amazed that Romney went down this road.

    I think I know why.

    Romney has been going through hard times trying to get American voters on his side. Ever since he was announced as the Tea/Republican Party candidate. It seems like everywhere he turns, he can't run on his business record, the Utah Olympics, Romneycare, the economy, his finances, his time as a Governor of Massachusetts, Bain Capital, and even revelations about his dog Seamus on a crate on his stationwagon have come back to haunt him. Polls are tanking. Everything he wants to talk about have been slapped back hard smack into his kisser.

    Having said all of that, I'd be willing to say there were other choices he wanted as Vice President. And I'd be willing to bet they turned him down.

    Romney is politically toxic. Other politicians have all said, yeah, sure, I'll do it, but they really don't sound convincing. I bet both Portman and Pawlenty were asked, and they turned it down.

    Romney is under the gun and down to the wire, so, since it isn't appropriate to pick his wife, he just asks Ryan. And of course, he says yes. He has nothing to lose. Mostly because of his ego. The Tea/Republicans that surround him all tell him he's the greatest thing since grated cheese, he's a "Young Gun," he's a visionary regarding the Ryan Plan, a plan I'd have to say isn't his own, it was prepared by others, they gave it to him, and said, here, present this, tell everyone it's yours, you want to kill Medicare as we know it, replace it with an inferior voucher program, so we can take the savings and give the rich more tax breaks/subsidies, while at the same time kill off as many senior citizens as we can. But don't tell the American people your plan will take TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS to even get anywhere near saving the Government money.

    I say Ryan was his second to last choice as VP (Sarah Palin was dead last).

    Politically, the only thing Romney gains from this is to energize the already decided looney Tea/Republicans. It definitely is not going to get any independents or undecided voters to swing his way.

    Romney went to the dark side. After this pick as VP, I expect him to start spouting mindless Tea Party slogans soon.

  8. Normally candidates gut a bump in polling when announcing their running mate. I believe this announcement will actually accelerate Romney's downward spiral.

  9. This should make for an easier victory for Obama.

  10. I wanted to vote for Ron Paul. But since NV doesn't allow write in candidates, I will be forced to vote for the lesser of two evils. Or is it weasels... The idea of two blood thirsty Republican candidates in the top seats rub me the wrong way. So President Obama will get my vote in the first time I have ever voted for a Democrat.

  11. Friday announcements in the political world are called "taking out the garbage" because they receive the least exposure. Why would Romney make such an ill-timed announcement? Rookie mistake or is he taking out the garbage?

  12. The choice at the voting booths on November 6, 2012 is crystal clear now after Romney announced his VP:

    Obama/Biden 2012!

    Vulture/Voucher 1040s!

  13. President Reagan said it very clearly

    TRUST BUT VERIFY.

    If Romney wants to earn our trust and thats doubtful he has to stand up and show his Tax Returns

    ONly fools would allow this candidate to get away with something as important as showing his tax returns. There are wealthier people then romney who would show them he has to or he should drop out.
    Its obvious that his attempt to duck this issue is due to something that he is afraid to have come out. What a fraud or as Santorum would say What a snob!!!

  14. "a worse pick than SARAH PALIN"...

    Whoa!!!

    "Ryan is like political Kryptonite: a character whose support for budget austerity and Ayn Rand-style ideological rigidness is decidedly out of step with the American people. Indeed, it was striking that in Ryan's maiden speech as the VP pick he spoke not at all about his signature legislative achievement: the Ryan budget. In fact, one can expect the Obama campaign to talk more about this policy document than the GOP ticket does."

    OUCH!!!

    If anything, Ryan's budget -- and its cuts in Medicare as well as tax breaks for the wealthy -- is now an even clearer and more visible target for the Obama campaign."

    Rmoney/Ryan 2012...
    'It's ALL ABOUT THE MONEY; R-MONEY!'

    http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/the_rum...

  15. The architect of Paul Ryan's Medicare reform was Henry Aaron. Mr. Aaron recently testified before congress:

    "The evidence to date is not encouraging," Aaron said, noting a recent study that isolated the effects of competition on Medicare Advantage costs from government-related influences. "After controlling for all those factors, Medicare Advantage plans are more expensive than is traditional Medicare."

    Watch his testimony here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pla...

  16. In one corner we have a man who bows down to dictators, thinks government is the answer to all problems and money is his to spend as he wants...and in the other, we have a man who thinks otherwise... easy choice...

  17. << The Tea/Republicans that surround him all tell him he's the greatest thing since grated cheese>>

    Grated cheese, Colin? He's a bonafide "Cheesehead" - more like "Wisconsin cheese curds".

  18. <<Ryan sealed the deal. You don't mess with seniors Medicare. Most are happy with it. You'll be here the day after the election whining and moaning. I'll bet my house on it>>

    What many do not underststand - Medicare is NOT an entitlement; Medicare is NOT free anymore like it used to be. Premiums have gone up, deductibles have gone up. Some seniors are paying upwards of $300 or more a month - sure that doesn't sound like much - but when you get only $800 in social security, that's a hell of a lot of money. If a senior does their due diligence, you can get get a Part B that helps quite a bit but a senior STILL gets doctor bills, bills for tests, etc. and most are not cheap. THe Part B pays for some of it but the seniors still have to pay the remainder. It all adds up. That's why in the Affordable Care Act, Medicare wellness programs will take effect (it already has started) where being proactive will help alleviate unnecessary and expensive tests. And don't forget the Part D coverage. There are premiums for that, too.

    Medicare is no longer a free ride.

  19. << I am not a big believer when it comes to shrinks, but after reading posts from so many of these liberals I am really starting to see a need for them??

    Don't be such a drama queen, nisa. It's more like a pissing match between you tight a** conservatives v. the liberals. We BOTH see things differently, no need to stoop so low as to "suggest" liberals need shrinks. Liberals can say the same about you conservatives, but we don't. Like the drunk, grabby, fat uncle you hate to see at family gatherings , we just ignore you and everything you say.

  20. "After controlling for all those factors, Medicare Advantage plans are more expensive than is traditional Medicare."

    Medicare Advantage is Part C coverage. Of course, it's more expensive than traditional Medicare!! I have a friend who chose NOT to get a Part C plan because she never gets sick so why bother. I told her let's hope she DOESN'T get sick!! She will have medical bills like she never had before. Dumb thing to do not getting Part C coverage no matter how healthy you think you are. On the other hand, a family member has a Medicare Advantage plan thru, I believe, AARP (but not sure). Her plan picks up whatever Medicare does not pay for; at times she does get billed for some things, but basically she likes the plan. It is thru United Healthcare. Thru the MediAdvantage plan, she now has to pay a $13 a month premium for drugs since Illinois dropped the RX Care program for seniors. But on the whole, she is happy with all of it even though it's not free by any means.

  21. Romney was forced to select Ryan based on the national poll numbers and his own missteps. Polls reflect that there are only 8% Undecideds out there. That's a number not seen until two weeks prior to the election. Thus, Mitt has given up on trying to change minds and the focus is solely on energizing and turning out the base. Recent comments by Romney and key staff members have once again brought his conservative credentials into question. Internal polls indicated that he was bleeding support. Thus he had to turn to Ryan to shore up what he has and hope that the opposition fails to execute their ground game. The danger is that by tagging Ryan the Obama base will become even more incentivised and politically moderate voters, Independent AND Republican, will now lean Democratic. McCain had the same problem and went with Palin, got his bump, and slowly deteriorated from there. It's not a good thing when the bottom of the ticket outshines the top.

  22. I have to wonder if the folks who really call the shots in the GOP picked Ryan because they know that Romney can't win, and bringing Ryan to the national stage now will help position him for a run against Hillary in 2016.

  23. Romney insured the Libertarian vote with the Ryan pick.

    Bye Bye Ron Paul!

  24. How so, peacelily? Ryan and Paul are nothing alike.

  25. <<Liberals don't pay attention because they are generally lazy folks who consume rather than generate>>

    Prove it, Heretic. You're good at rhetoric but bad at backing up your statements. Liberals are not lazy folk who would rather consume then generate.

    <<Your fellow posters, and yourself, get on this righteous high-horse and lambaste conservatives all day long. You know it but, sadly, are too brainwashed to see it>>

    I think it's the other way around. The conservatives and so called "independents" like yourself (not all independents) are always on their high horse and "lambaste" liberals all day long stating that most would rather be lazy then contribute to society. Who is brainwashed, really?

  26. I read all the posted comments and it appears that there is an overwhelming negative view of Romney's pick for VP.

    Normally its people like @TEA who monopolizes the comments with their views. It appears for the first time he is in the minority. I also noticed that most of his later comments were removed by moderator. I wonder what he was saying that was N/A.

    I am not sure who would vote to end Medicare as we know it today and everyone's comments here in this post seem to justify this.

  27. If it were a beauty contest I'd have to vote for these two guys. They'd both tie for Miss America with their thoughts and looks.

  28. I note that those who say R/R are trying to gut Medicare are the opposition / Democrats. So who you gonna believe. Like Mr. O has delivered on ANY of his campaign promises to CUT SPENDING, decrease the deficit, restore the middle class. Instead the O's are giving everything to the career takers / unemployable noise makers who do nothing but make babies.